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Derek Fisher doesn’t plan to retire. Why would you think that?

Feb 26, 2013, 5:49 PM EDT

Oklahoma City Thunder v Dallas Mavericks - Game Three Getty Images

Derek Fisher was back in Oklahoma City Tuesday, practicing with the Thunder, readying for another playoff run. He will be suited up and ready to go on Wednesday when the Thunder host the Hornets.

When Fisher walks on the court, he will be wearing No. 6 — as in he is on a quest for his sixth ring. Thunder coach Scott Brooks wanted him back (after the Thunder moved Eric Maynor at the trade deadline) because of his steady presence in the locker room. The Thunder are hungry.

But Fisher doesn’t want this to be his last rodeo. From the Associated Press.

“I’m not planning on retiring at the end of the season but if this is my last season, I deserve this opportunity to be here with this group,” Fisher said. “So, that’s really what brought me back.”

We’d ask Marc Cuban about where Fisher deserves to be — remember he spent nine games with the Mavericks, tweaked his knee and asked out of his deal at the start of the season — but he is biting his tongue. Possibly literally.

Fisher seems realistic that this could be it — his game has deteriorated and he will be more locker room support and mop up guy than someone who will get minutes that matter in the playoffs. He hasn’t shot better than 40 percent since 2009 and hasn’t averaged more than 10 points a game since 2008. Next season teams are more likely to bring in young guards they can develop than put a 39-year-old Fisher on the end of the bench.

He thought that might be it when he left Dallas, but he’s not ready to give up.

“I knew that I still wanted to play the game. I knew I still had the love, the work ethic, the passion,” Fisher said. “The injury was a setback. The biggest struggle was for me, even after 16 years (in the NBA), playing in a different city, being away from my family. Those are things that I struggled with. But as I was leaving Dallas, I understood the risks that that could possibly be my last game or my last opportunity.”

It will be interesting to see where Brooks puts Fisher in his shrinking playoff rotations.

  1. stevegilbert11 - Feb 26, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Hey, I hope his daughter is doing well, seriously. But stop telling teams you want your release for family reasons ( Utah and Dallas) and jump back in with a contender at seasons end. Little wishy washy and slight sorry.

    • kavika6 - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:22 AM

      Especially since the best Children’s Hospital in the country is in Salt Lake City.

    • zerole00 - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      He owed the Mavs the etiquette of at least contacting them first and letting them know from how well they treated him.

      For the Thunder’s sake, I hope Fisher doesn’t see many minutes.

  2. ocgunslinger - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    Loved Fisher, a great player in his time. Looking for #6 for ME reasons….However there is a
    M & E in tEaM.

  3. ifiownedthecowboys - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:56 PM


  4. drunkenjunk - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    that veteran presence won’t change anything. unfortunately this team’s ceiling this season is runner-up in the finals.

    • kavika6 - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      The Western Finals.

  5. sunsation3413 - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:38 PM

    I guess at 38 you can take some fouls and flop a little but come on Derek Fisher. Whining and quitting not one but two former teams doesnt bode well for your reputation.

  6. jtmmack - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Not sure why the Thunder want him he hasn’t had any game in a long time, just ask the lakers who told him to take a hike mid season a few years back.

    • mazblast - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      Yes, since the Lakers are the gold standard on how to assemble a roster.

  7. cosanostra71 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM

    Derek Fisher hasn’t been an above average player since about 2009. Even when the Lakers beat the Celtics for their back to back championship Fisher’s skills were clearly diminishing. He gave the Lakers so much, so I wish him luck, but he simply will not be contributing on the court for the Thunder.

    • borderline1988 - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:22 PM

      He adds veteran leadership to a young squad. And he might be a good influence on Westbrook who often lets his emotions get the best of him.

      And he can still be valuable in certain situations…he’s a guy who can come off the bench at the end of the 3rd and early 4th and hit some shots..his defende is pretty bad, but it depends who the opposing PG is. Obviously you can’t put him in against Tony Parker, but Steve Blake or some other backup PG who isn’t much of a threat to go to the rim, Fisher can handle.

  8. ezwriter69 - Feb 26, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    Used to be a man’s word meant something… now, this fraud is the head of the players association. Says a lot about him, and them. Could swear this empty suit was a lawyer from his character, or lack of same…

  9. rustygrizzwald - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    Fisher is mis labeled as a team player. Second only to cheap shot bob as the annoying false sense of entitlement guy on a lot of really good teams.

  10. kavika6 - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    “When Fisher walks on the court, he will be wearing No. 6 — as in he is on a quest for his sixth ring.”

    Did he actually say that? As if he had anything to do with those championships.

    • 00maltliquor - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:02 AM

      Psssh! Are you kidding me? He did. Clutch shots, game winners. Pivital plays. You don’t have to average 20-25 ppg to have an impact. 0.4 my man, POINT fricken Four!

  11. bigmeechy74 - Feb 27, 2013 at 5:28 AM

    Knowing Scott Brooks, Fisher will probably play 20-25 minutes a game and Brooks will just sit there and wonder why they are getting beat. Scott brooks is one of the bottom 5 worst coaches in the league. He butchered their hopes against the Heat in the finals last year.

  12. fanofevilempire - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Scott Brooks is over rated and OKC will not win with him.
    He looks good in a suit but he is no Phil Jackson.
    Fish is there probably to just be a leader.

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